Farmers Markets have been around since the first popped up along the Nile in Ancient Egypt hundreds of years ago. They eventually sprung up in the states around 1634 in the Boston, MA and New England area. The trend spread to New York City, NY, Hartford, CT and Philadelphia, PA from there.
A true Farmers Market is a gathering of local farmers and merchants selling their goods to the public from a single location. Today, Farmers Markets not only include fruits and vegetables, but you may also find artisanal soaps, candles, and other homemade items.
Secrets of buying from the Farmers Market
First off, congratulations to you for choosing a Farmers Market for your fruits and vegetable supplier. Buying local is definitely a better option for you, and for the local farmers that rely on sales like yours. There are some tips for this type of shopping, though.
- You will likely save money if you buy what is “in season”. These produce items are readily at hand for the farmers and therefore they are more willing to knock the price down. Items that are “low in stock” or “out of season” are less available to the farmers, more in demand by the customers, and likely higher priced.
- Most Farmers Market vendors will only accept cash payment, so make sure you bring some. It is also uncommon for there to be an atm on the premises, so make sure you stop at one prior to your arrival.
- Try the samples! If a vendor offers samples of their items then it would be wise to try before you buy. This tip can help you spend your money on foods and products that you actually enjoy!
- Don’t spend more than you can afford. Before heading to the Farmers Market, make a budget for yourself and then stick to it! It may also be wise for you to comparison shop between vendors and local grocery stores to make certain that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Secrets of selling at the Farmers Market
If you are considering joining the fun at a Farmers Market, but on the vendor’s side of things then you should keep these tips in mind.
- Scout out the competition! If they are not doing well then you may want to reconsider your approach. Try making yourself stand out in a creative way that could help draw attention to your stand. If none of the vendors are doing well then maybe consider a different market to join.
- You should start with a limited amount of product to sell-off. At least in the beginning, you won’t know for sure how popular your items will be. Once you build up some business you can start adding to your inventory.
- Keep records of what items you sell, how many and for how much. That way you can properly stock up for next time and keep proper count of your inventory and income.
- Beware of the rules and regulations that the venue may have! Most Farmers Market venues have an organizer that handles the vendor applications and will enforce any rules or regulations that they may have.
Take it to the market!
Farmers Markets are full of merchants with corn on the cob stands and fruit stands such as strawberries and blueberries. You may even find stands offering homemade breads, baked goods, jams, honey, bath and beauty products, crafts, pet treats, soaps, and candles. Overall, the type of stands at your Farmers Market will depend on the type of product you have locally and what is in season. Check out your local Farmers Market and see what you can discover!